After a week in Ireland, it was time to take our Eurotrip 2014 adventure to London. But like I mentioned in my last post, we were ready to go out with a BANG.
Once our bus pulled back into Dublin, we gathered all willing participants from our tour group (mostly the Australians) and made plans for meeting up later that evening. After a filling dinner of fish and chips, we hit the streets of Dublin for some pints and some craic. It was a long and epic night that consisted of swapping American/Australian accents, listening to live Irish music and rambunctiously dancing at a cool nightclub. It was sad to say goodbye to our friends after spending every moment together for the last 5 days but I wouldn’t trade our experience for anything.
The next morning was rough and we almost missed checkout time while sleeping away in our stuffy hostel room. Thankfully Carina was alive enough to drag us out of bed so we could pack our backpacks in the darkness while our bunkmates slept on. That was fun… especially when a new girl checked into our room and spent like an hour hogging the bathroom. Oy, hostels are definitely an experience!
We left our bags with the hostel while we headed outside for our final day in Dublin! Noooooooo….
We enjoyed a full Irish breakfast in Temple Bar (to the lovely sounds of construction) before walking to Grafton Street. The shopping street was insanely crowded with tourists, unlike our first day in Dublin when the city was relatively quiet. I guess June 16th is peak tourist season.
I was exhausted so we hung out in a small park before walking back to the Temple Bar Area. We mailed Tana a postcard and walked past Cassidy’s, one of the bars we visited the night before. Cassidy’s was a pretty weird and alternative place with bizarre art on the walls and forgotten furniture on the sidewalk. Weird but cool.
We then took a detour to Trinity College, which we had visited on our first day in the pouring rain. It was much more pleasant on this absolutely beautiful summer day. It was fun to sit next to the quad and act like students… those were the days!
We finished our day back at Temple Bar and sat around enjoying the sunshine and colorful shops. Oh look there is Carina in front of the actual Temple Bar, which was on the same block as our hostel. The Temple Bar is very touristy but has absolutely phenomenal musicians playing live Irish music each night so it is worth checking out.
Sadly it was time to catch the shuttle bus to the airport for a late flight into London. Once we landed in London we would take the train to Shoreditch and meet Carina’s friend Val, who had kindly offered to host us for the next 5 days. I was excited to finally visit London but really sad to leave Ireland.
We had such an incredible time touring Ireland with Shamrockers and I am now a huge fan of backpacker bus tours (hello Stray NZ!). Not only did we see the typical tourist sites like the Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway, but we also did some truly unique activities in places off-the-beaten path. We biked around the Aran Islands, danced to live traditional Irish music in Galway, learned about the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and walked for miles through green fields to cross a remote rope bridge in Ballintoy. But more importantly, we had fun making unforgettable memories with new friends from around the world and of course with my bestie and travel partner in crime, Carina <3.
Now wait a second, do you hear that?
*RING RING RING*
LONDON IS CALLING.